Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Oct. 21 , 2011


Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of Oct.21, 2011


Walmart SKU Reversal Pays Off; Ford Sees Low Wage Cost Growth in New Contract; Import Fees Up Substantially, though Few Know it; Sainsybury's Sets Agressive Carbon Emissions Goals



Number of SKUs Walmart said this week it has brought back to its store shelves, somewhat above the 8500 initially projected last year, when it blamed overzealous SKU reductions for dropping sales. Walmart says that the increase in merchandise choices is among the key factors that will lead it to show higher same store sales results in the quarter that will end in October, the first such increase after nine straight quarters of same store sales declines.




The little understood increase in merchandise processing fees for goods imported into the US, a provision hidden in the recently passed free trade agreements with South Korea, Columbia and Panama. The federal fee will rise from .21% to .3464% based on the value of the cargo. The cap of $485 per shipment will not be changed, but the cap will apply when cargo value reaches $140,011. With the older rate, the fee was capped at cargo valued at $230,952. This will have the biggest impact on importers of low value goods, who will see margins hit.


Amount of absolute carbon emissions throughout its extended supply chain UK grocer Sainsbury's said it will eliminate by 2020, according to a new 20 x 20 plan the retailer recently announced. That includes 19 other Sustainability goals Sainsbury's says it intends to achieve by the end of the decade. The 30% reduction would represent an impressive 65% reduction in carbon emissions per dollar of sales compared to 2005. Sainsbury's says it will get a lot more involved in its suppliers' supply chains to make this happen, and will invest one billion pounds in the program.



The new cost per hour of labor for Ford under the new agreement signed with United Autoworkers Union, up less than 1% from the $58.00 level Ford currently has. Ford, however, says it estimates that Toyota pays its non-union workers just $50.00 per hour. Key to the deal, Ford said, are changes to work rules that will enable it to deploy workers in more productive team-based groups.